Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai committed a classic gaffe: He told the truth. At the recent Republican State Committee meeting, Turzai debunked the myth that voter ID is about voter fraud:
We are focused on making sure that we meet our obligations that we’ve talked about for years. Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it’s done. First pro-life legislation – abortion facility regulations – in 22 years, done. Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.
The House is expected to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress due to his refusal to turn over some documents related to the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking operation. With an approval rating of 17 percent, Congress itself is held in contempt by the American people.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Republicans are gunning for Holder because he stopped states from playing fast and footloose with the Voting Rights Act:
It’s really important to note how this is connected with some of their other decisions. It is no accident. It is no coincidence that the Attorney General of the United States is the person responsible for making sure that voter suppression does not happen in our country, that issues that relate to the civil liberties of the American people are upheld.
These very same people holding in contempt are part of a nationwide scheme to suppress a vote. They are closely aligned with those who are suffocating the system, special interests, secret money, and they are poisoning the debate. They are poisoning the debate with that money. And so what does the average citizen say? They throw up their hands and they say, a pox on both your houses, and that is a victory for the special interest.
On ABC’s “This Week,” the contemptible George Will said Holder “made himself obnoxious to Republicans.”
The GOP’s bill of indictment against Holder includes his refusal to prosecute the New Black Panthers for alleged “voter intimidation” during the 2008 election.
The incident was investigated and dismissed as no more than two knuckleheads acting stupid. Still, the video of this made-for-Fox-News nothingburger lives on in the imagination of Republicans who use it to justify election law changes, including voter ID.
This is the flag that Francis Scott Key saw flying over Fort McNair during the War of 1812. It inspired him to write "The Star-Spangled Banner" which officially became our National Anthem in 1931 (h/t National Museum of American History).
Sixty years later, Whitney Houston's rendition of the National Anthem inspired the nation.
I am in New York City for Personal Democracy Forum, an annual conference that focuses on the intersection of technology, civic engagement, politics and government. I’m attending as one of nine Tumblr Fellows.
As the chief evangelist for the Cost of Freedom Project, a citizen-led initiative that’s powered by we the people, I’m particularly interested in the “We Government” breakout track. Speakers will present ideas and tips on “the variety of ways the people and their governments are using data to make civic life smarter and more responsive to public needs.”
With the voter suppression schemes in place across the country, voting rights advocates must work harder and smarter to remove barriers to the ballot box and ensure all votes are counted.
During a recent broadcast of “Hour of Power,” Al Sharpton said:
This is not a normal election. We don’t know what we’re dealing with.
That’s true. But we do know that True the Vote will be out in force challenging voters’ eligibility and causing confusion at the polls. They’re crowdsourcing voter suppression; we must crowdsource voter protection.
Yo! Philly Votes will aggregate, visualize and contextualize multiple sources of real-time Election Day incident reports so that problems can be addressed and corrected in real time. We’re leveraging the power of Web 2.0 to fight Voter Suppression 2.0.